NEOCLASSIC VIOLIN SONATAS, 1922-1977
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Neoclassicism is a style that can be traced through the works of certain composers in the twentieth century. Classical music in the twentieth century underwent a profusion of stylistic changes. In order to rival the lengthy and exaggerated musical gestures of the late romantic period, Stravinsky launched the neoclassical movement in the 1920s. Stravinsky and other composers endeavored to reestablish the order and balance of the classical period. Strictly speaking, Neoclassicism was prevalent between the two world wars; however, some composers still followed this path after the 1950s. In the category of violin sonatas, Neoclassicism is demonstrated by composers with diversified styles and characters. They adopted not only the classical spirit in these works, but also derived inspiration from music of the baroque and romantic periods. As representatives of neoclassical violin sonatas, I have selected nine works to present during my dissertation recitals. These works provide a comprehensive survey of neoclassical violin repertoire. I have chosen music of Béla Bartók, Paul Hindemith, Maurice Ravel, Bohuslav Martinů, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev and Aaron Copland. Neoclassicism is an international movement; therefore, the composers I have chosen are from various countries including Hungary, Germany, France, Czechoslovakia, Russia and America. Each composition represents a unique fusion of classical forms with diversified materials and personalities. The Neoclassical movement was by no means merely a recreation of the eighteenth century's musical style. The French composer Erik Satie said, "For me, the New Spirit is above all a return to classical form--with modern sensibility."